This book offers a compelling examination of our moral and epistemic obligations to be reasonable people who seek to understand the social reality of those who are different from us. Considering the oppressive aspects of socially constructed ignorance, Heikes argues that ignorance produces both injustice and epistemic repression, before going on to explore how our moral and epistemic obligations to be understanding and reasonable can overcome the negative effects of ignorance.
Through the combination of three separate areas of philosophical interest- ignorance, understanding, and reasonableness- Heikes seeks to find a way to correct for epistemological and moral injustices, satisfying needs in feminist theory and critical race theory for an epistemology that offers hope of overcoming the ethical problem of oppression.
1. Moral Awakenings.- I. Rethinking Reason: An Overview.- II. The Practice of Skepticism.- III. Objectivism and Relativism.- IV. Overview.- 2. The Power of Ignorance.- I. Enlightenment Origins of Ignorance.- II. Ignorance and Power.- III. "Proper" Epistemology and Epistemic Power.- IV. Epistemic Agency and Knowledge-Sharing.- V. Shifting Epistemic Perspectives.- 3. Towards a Genuine Understanding.- I. Grasping Understanding.- II. Understanding Within a Network of Possibilities.- III. Confirmation Bias and Understanding.- IV. The Responsibility to Understand.- V. Understanding as Second Nature.- 4. Reasonable Grounds.- I. Why Not Reason?.- II. Being Reasonable- and Being Impartial.- III. Rawlsian Reasonableness.- IV. Reasonableness and Cross Cultural Language-Games.- V. The Practice of Reasonableness.- 5. Postscript: Can we have a Liberatory Epistemology?.- I. Finding Epistemic Footing.- II. Communal Graspings at What is Real.- III. Reasonableness Revisited.- IV. Liberatory Epistemology and Social Justice.